Category Archives: Price ($$)

J-Town


3160 Steeles Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario
(Woodbine Ave & Steeles Ave E)
http://www.jtown.ca/NewStuff/index-e.htm

J-Town is the largest Japanese shopping mall in Toronto. They sell everything from sushi, groceries, fashionable accessories to cosmetics. They also have small restaurants inside the building that serve fresh food at great prices.

As you know, I don’t cook … but I still enjoy grocery shopping here at Sakana-ya and Heisei Mart. If you’re a sushi lover, I highly recommend you pick up a sushi platter. What I like to do is pick up a package of freshly imported seaweed (comes with sauce) from Japan, sushi/sashimi (i.e. uni, salmon roe) and grilled squid  for dinner (see photo). Not only is it delicious but an incredibly healthy choice. There are many other varieties of sushi/sashimi or cooked items available to choose from as well. For dessert, stop by the bakery. You’ll find a wide variety of cakes and pastries displayed. The challenge is to decide on which ones to try.

Recommendations
• Sushi/sashimi platter
• Uni in its shell (if you love sea urchin)
• Udon noodles

Good to Know
• Best seats: N/A
• Service: Friendly
• Atmosphere: Basic, market
• Ideal for: Casual, quick eat, take out,
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No
• Parking: Free
• While you’re there: Check out Heisei (Japanese grocery store), Tora Sushi or Sakana-ya (for seafood/sushi/sashimi) and Bakery Nakamura.

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Kenzo Japanese Ramen House


138 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON, M5G 1C3
(Bay & Dundas)
T: 416-205-1155
www.kenzoramen.ca

A nice, convenient location – located right in the heart of downtown (close by to the Eaton Centre, AMC, and Atrium on Bay) – for Kenzo to open another location. Kenzo is known for their Japanese Ramen Noodles. 

If you like noodles with soup, you can choose the miso or broth base soup. Alternatively, you can have it “dry”, which is pan fried and served in an iron plate. Side dishes include gyoza (fried dumpling) or tacoyaki (pan-fried octopus balls – a piece of octopus fried in a light puffy batter, shaped as a ball).

Recommendations
• Miso Ramen (try this if it is your first time and don’t know what to order)
• Tacoyako
• Don’t forget to add schichimi pepper.

Schichimi pepper is a spice mixture that generally consists of seven ingredients – typically a blend of ground red chili pepper, ground sansho pepper, roasted/dried citrus peel, sesame seed, poppy/hemp seed, ground ginger, and nori.

Good to Know
• Best seats: If you like a little more privacy, the tables with wall separators
• Service: Generally nice
• Atmosphere: Basic wooden tables
• Ideal for: Casual, quick eat
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

Kenzo Japanese Noodle House on Urbanspoon

Caplansky’s Delicatessen


356 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 1S6
(College Ave & Bathurst St)
T: (416) 500-3852

If you are a deli meat lover, you will love this place. Caplansky specializes in hand-smoked and hand-cut smoked meat. I’m not much of a meat eater myself but found their deli sandwich fresh and the meat was smoked to perfection.

Recommendations
• Build your own deli sandwich with one of the smoked meats
• I was also strong recommended to try the tongue – let me know how you like it.

Good to Know
• Best seats: No preference
• Service: Nice
• Atmosphere: retro; diner
• Ideal for: Casual, meat/deli lovers
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

Caplansky's Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

Honey Garlic Restaurant


1661 Denison St, Markham, ON L3R 6E4
(Kennedy Rd & Steeles)
T:(905) 470-7730

Ginger & Onion (see older blog) was such a success that the owners opened up another restaurant, Honey Garlic, just up the street of Market Village. The food is almost as good and the line ups are just as long. But Honey Garlic has better promotions (if you’re a deal seeker).

This is one of the few Chinese restaurants that still uses the trolley to push out the dim sum dishes. I tend to like this concept because I can see what it is before ordering. Many restaurants now have a sheet of paper for you to enter your selection instead.

Recommendations
• Steamed Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf
• Fried Octopus Tentacles – it is dipped and fried with batter here; tempura style
• Baked Tapioca Pudding

Good to Know
• Best seats: Along the windows
• Service: Mediocre
• Atmosphere: many booths and tables of fours (This place was previously Swiss Chalet. I think they kept the original layout of chairs, etc but redesigned the furniture and decor.)
• Ideal for: Family, smaller casual gatherings
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No
• Promotions: See photos (please call the restaurant for updates)

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Honey Garlic Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Ginger Onion Cuisine


7131 Kennedy Road, Markham, ON L3R 0T4
(Kennedy Rd & Steeles at Market Village)
T: (905) 479-7730

This is a very popular place for dim sum. People are willing to line up for hours during peak times. I admit the food is good but I don’t have the patience. Rather, I would suggest going early, no later than 10am, on the weekends to avoid the rush.

This is one of the few Chinese restaurants that still uses the trolley to push out the dim sum dishes. I tend to like this concept because I can see what it is before ordering. Many restaurants now have a sheet of paper for you to enter your selection instead.

Recommendations
• Fried Octopus Tentacles
• Fried Fish
• Baked Egg Tarts
• Coconut cake

Good to Know
• Best seats: Any along the windows
• Service: Okay
• Atmosphere: Big venue; tables still quiet close to each other
• Ideal for: Family, casual, dim sum lovers
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

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Ginger & Onion Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Penrose Fish and Chips


600 Mt Pleasant, Toronto, ON M5G 1P5
(Eglinton Ave E & Mount Pleasant Rd)
T: (416) 481-9444
www.penrosefishandchips.com

One of the best fish & chips restaurants in the city! These guys sure know what they’re doing. They’ve been around since 1950 and I hear many celebrities (including Barbara Streisand) come here when they’re in town.

Recommendations
• Halibut & Chips
• Chowder – rich and creamy

Good to Know
• Best seats: No preference
• Service: Okay
• Atmosphere: simple diner style
• Ideal for: Casual, quick eat or takeout
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

Penrose Fish & Chips on Urbanspoon

Ninki Sushi


40 King Street West, Toronto, ON
(Adelaide & Bay)
(416) 368 – 7333
www.ninki.ca

Like many of the sushi restaurants in the area, Ninki Sushi was packed during lunch. I come here out of convenience more than preference. As for the food and service, it’s okay (not great quality but still fresh).

Recommendations
• Sushi platter
• Grilled octopus

Good to Know
• Best seats: No preference
• Service: Okay
• Atmosphere: Uses pine wood for decor; tables are set very close to one another to optimize revenue
• Ideal for: People who work in the area, quick eat, take out
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: Yes, especially for lunch
• Patio recommended: No

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Ninki Sushi on Urbanspoon

King’s Cafe


192 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON
(Spadina & Dundas)
(416) 591-1340

A nice little oasis to get away from the busy streets of Kensington Market, which is filled with preowned vintage clothing shops (i.e. Courage My Love), cheese specialty shops, bakeries, meat shops, health stores and Tom’s place.

This Asian vegetarian restaurant has a huge selection of Taiwanese tea (including bubble tea) to choose from.

Don’t forget to check out the little shop at the back of the restaurant that sells teapots with candle base (to keep your tea warm), simulated meat selection (i.e. tofu chicken drums) and other vegetarian items.

Recommendations
• Purple/wild fried rice – I ordered this dish thinking it was a healthier choice over a bowl of white rice but it’s actually very yummy!
• Seaweed wrapped chicken with spinach
• Mango asparagus chicken
• Cold ice lemon tea (or any of their teas)

Good to Know
• Best seats: Near the windows
• Service: Good
• Atmosphere: Comfortable; open; ceiling fans; tropical (they open the front and back windows and doors in the summer, allowing the breeze and air to flow right through the restaurant).
• Ideal for: Casual, vegetarians
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

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King's Café on Urbanspoon

Kintaro Ramen


788 Denman St, Vancouver, BC, V6G 2L5
(604) 682-7568

This is one of the oldest (if not the first) Ramen shops in Vancouver. Their soup base is made from real pork bones.

Eye opener – I would have never fathom eating cheese with Ramen noodles but it actually tastes awesome!!

Recommendations
• Cheese Ramen with Pork (the menu says, “Ladies love it!” I guess it’s true!)
• Gyoza (fried dumpling)

Good to Know
• Best seats: Maybe at the counter to watch the chefs prepare the noodles but it could get very warm sitting there while eating a hot bowl of noodles
• Service: Good
• Atmosphere: Simple and small (limited space)
• Ideal for: Casual and quick eating
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

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Kintaro Ramen on Urbanspoon

The Jade Seafood Restaurant


8511 Alexandra Rd, Richmond, BC V6X
T: (604) 249-0082
www.jaderestaurant.ca

Located on the second floor, this Chinese restaurant looks clean and comfortable.

Recommendations
• Fried squid
• Mushroom dumplings (the taste better than they look)
• Scallop and Fish Maw dumpling

Good to Know
• Best seats: No preference
• Service: Good but was generally difficult to get the waiter’s attention
• Atmosphere: Clean; bright; surrounded by tall windows (which allowed the natural sunlight in)
• Ideal for: Family, leisure dim sum dining, gathering, celebration
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

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The Jade Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon